Yew, English Yew
Taxus baccata

Family: Taxaceae
Genus: Taxus (TAKS-us) (Info)
Species: baccata (BAK-ah-tuh) (Info)
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over 40 ft. (12 m)


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade

Full Shade


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow



Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring


Grown for foliage




Other details:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

By grafting

Seed Collecting:

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Louisville, Kentucky

Laurel, Maryland

Riverdale, Maryland

Houghton, Michigan

Schenectady, New York

Altoona, Pennsylvania

Dover, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Sumter, South Carolina

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 1, 2008, DMersh from Perth
United Kingdom (Zone 7b) wrote:

Very slow growing evergreen with tough, highly flexible wood - it used to be the wood of choice for making bows in medieval times.
Prefers full sun on alkaline soils, does very well on dry slopes on chalk downs where other trees find it hard to grow.
One of the longest living trees, sometimes living to over 1000 years.


On Feb 23, 2007, Gustichock from Tandil
Argentina (Zone 10b) wrote:

I understand that the fruit is the only part of this plant that is not poisonous, thats why, I guess, God made it attractive (red), "substantious" (is that a word in English?) (fleshy) and, of course, edible. Some might say: Nature is so wise! but I know and I believe that Nature and God are the same person only with different names.


On Nov 16, 2002, Baa wrote:

A coniferous tree from Europe, Northern Africa and Asia Minor regions.

Has linear, glossy, dark green leaves. Bears red arils containing one seed each on female trees, male trees bear yellow catkins. The bark is reddish brown and slightly peeling.

Loves well drained, humus rich, fertile soil in sun or shade.

Extremely poisonous to livestock (and humans) it shouldn't be used as a hedging plant for field boundaries. It does make a good, dense, shelter hedge in larger gardens and tolerates clipping and topiary.

The wood has a good degree of elasticity and was once used in Great Britain to make long bows as well as furniture. In some older parishes you can still see a couple of Yew trees close to the village church that were probably ... read more